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Old 09-19-2016, 06:34 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Dying spree- help

I'm a new fish keeper. there, got that out of the way. so in this story there are going to be mistakes. LOTS of them. and it's ok to let me know when I made a mistake, but also know I'm beating myself up over the one's i've made.
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I got a moss ball from a friend. So I got a guppy to go with it-I'd ehard they have a symbiotic relationship. I was then informed that it was SHRIMP that have that, so I got a shrimp, too.
They lived happily together in a bowl. Guppy girl, shrimp, and eventually I got guppy girl a Boyfriend, Gunter. And in another bowl I put Sonny and Cher.
Plus more shrimp. cause....shrimp.

I got two boys and two girls from petsmart later, (stupid, stupid), and both boys died within a few days, and the girls never looked right, but one day Cher and Guppy girl were both pregnant, and so I let the boys go in with the petsmart girls so they'd stop bothering their pregnant ladies. When I moved Gunter back in with GG, i noticed a splotch of missing color on his head. Next time I was at Petsmart, I looked at the same breed of guppy, and they had the same thing, and the guy said it was normal.
Petsmart girls died within a week, I was told about real aquariums, I got a real tank, started setting it up.
Gunter starts acting old, and his back starts bending.

I'm on a well, did tetra safe start, then put the guppy fry guppy girl was pregnant with originally in a few days later, not knowing safe start needed fish. And now I know about the cycle and would't do a fish-in cycle again, but as I said, totally new.

Got my water tested, It was on the second cycle, guy suggested I toss the remaining few guppies in and fast them for a few days , but let it start. I have anacharis in there too, so a little bit of greenery
Ammonia .5 nitrate 20 nitrite zero, hardness 300+, alkalinity 300+, chlorine zero, PH 7.8 (ammonia comes out of the tap at .25, I had him test, which apparently is fairly common with that hardness of water)
I find one guppy fry and fish her out into a bowl for safekeeping while I set up a baby tank. Cher looks skinnier. No other babies- they were fasting, remember?

Maybe two weeks ago I did a 50% water change the day before I went to get my water tested, so my last measurement was zero, zero, zero, and he said I should start seeing nitrates again soon, but my tank was cycled. I also started pulling some water through the softener, so the hardness varies a little bit.
I was told I don't need water conditioner because I am on a well- no chlorine or anything.

Gunter starts acting really sick, and i eventually find him being eaten alive by one of the shrimp. I take him out of the tank, he dies.
The guppy girl was pregnant and started acting listless, so I moved her to her own tank. she ended up aborting her pregnancy, I think, since only four babies were swimming, and the rest were eggs with varying levels of spinal development. I put her back in the main tank, but she seemed off- mopey at times, but then playing with the other fish at other times. The moment I noticed the red mark (which looked like a welt below her fin), I moved her into QT.
Her fins were pretty clamped. As the next few days went on, the fins stayed clamped, and she got more desperate-seeming. it was like she paralyzed from the tail to the front, and at the end she was just hiding in the corners of the tank gasping, but coming to me when she saw me. when she died and I pulled her out, she looked like she had bruises all over her body.
Then the same day (last night), I pulled a several-month-old fry out of the main tank when i noticed the clamped fins, and the corner hiding. When she got into QT she was completely vertical, just diving down and hitting her nose on the bottom. She was dead by this morning, (with some white thing on her head, but i dont know if that was decomposition or not) and I pulled another fry out of the main tank today with clamped fins.

I think the ones who brought in whatever this is were petsmart fish that I let Gunter hang out with for a few hours. He started to lose color and get a bent back after that, but I moved him into the big tank when it was ready with all the others.

NOW I know about quarantine, and not moving fish around so much, and everything, but I was just setting up my first tank, so everything is new. But this is scaring the bejeezus out of me, especially after hearing about fish TB! I am a little immuno suppressed, dealing with chemical sensitivities, and my dad just had a HORRIBLE infection, so neither of us want to be on antibiotics for a few months because of fish tb! I debated getting rid of the tanks when I heard about it last weekend (after googling Gunter's bent back) I finally got myself brave again a few days ago, then GG started her death spiral.


I feel I'm in way over my head (which is normal, I tend to jump in head first), but I don't know whether to cull all the fish and bleach the tank for fish tb, or just pull them out as they get sick, or WTF to do. Sonny, Cher, and the two remaining guppy fry GG was pregnant with when I got her in June are looking fine in the 20 gallon by themselves.


water temp is 72, one ghost shrimp in the tank, anacharis, undergravel filter running with an aquaclear 50 as the aquaclear is getting established. (tank came with the UG filter)
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:00 AM   #2
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To address a few points
1.Fish TB to human infection (zoonotic) is rare. I would not worry about that. Ive stuck my hand in tanks with fish tb. You really would have to actually physically touch a dead fish body right where there is a cut on your hand. Dont worry about that
2. Once you know of the cycle, that cuts out a lot of our work. Being on well water is great, but as far as the water softener goes, I find it unnecessary and too much work. Fish cant "feel" the softness, in fact water softners just run the water thru some kind of salts to make it feel less hard on your hands (and soften skin, reduce mineral deposit in showers that kind of thing)
3. Bleaching the tank and starting over is pretty far flung, are you sure its fish TB? It could just be camallanus worms. In order for you to determine if its fish TB you would have to see almost all or all of the following symptoms
Clamping, hanging, Emancipation (not the proclamation decleration kind, this means skinny) Bent spine, open red sores, swims under food but spits it out, stringy poo
It does sound like it could be fish TB with the spiraling
Have you noticed the other symptoms? Unfortunately I could not recommend anything except starting over and bleaching everything and scrubbing, which im not sure you would be able to do if you chemical sensitive. There is no cure for fish TB, but I would not worry about "getting" it at all. In fact your talking to a guy whos probably put his mouth on tubes, dissected sick fish, and definitely DEFINATELY gotten his hands inside a tank with guppies with TB, and im still alive.
Hang in there, this hobby can be a pain in the rear but it is fun and addictive if you do it right and you enjoy science or just looking at something peaceful or growing your own fish.
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:46 PM   #3
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I am a science interested, geeky a stubborn lady. But this whole thing definitely has be disheartened.

GU ter had color loss and the bent back
Gg had skinny, with a red welt and when she died she looked like she had huge bruises on her body. She also seemed paralyzed, with major clamped fins

Baby 1 had the corner hiding, I could catch her with a spoon, majorly clamped fins, and when in found her body in the qt tank it looked like a cotton ball had exploded from her head. She did the dive bombing
Baby 2 has clamped fins and hiding in a corner, but I had to catch her with a net, and she's roaming around her qt cup like she's pissed as all get out, almost vibrating.

So with that, we cover hemmorhagivc septicemia, fish tb, cam worms, and an uncycled tank, right?
I spent some time on google yesterday. My brain is exhausted.
I'm going to go to the LFS and get my water tested again today, as someone suggested this was all from an incompletely cycled tank.
I will look up the worms and get something today, just in case. Siiigh.

The good news is, a friend gave me a brand new (to me) tank with fish that it totally cycled, so if need be, I can probably get some cycled water or SOMETHING from it. It has bristles in the filter as the bio growth medium, so I'm not sure how in would do it. Maybe swish them in some clean water?


Thank you for reading my essay and your answer. I feel foolish, and more than a little embarrassed.

Just for fun.... Do shrimp have all these disease issues? Or a planted tank? I could be happy with just a planted tank with crazy shrimp.

If it is fish tb, I can get help with the bleaching. Oi have one friend who totally gets my sensitivity limitations. But how do I know?

Now my brain hurts again
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:32 PM   #4
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I have found fancy bred fish to be a lot more sensitive to Fish TB than normal fish. Maybe you could throw some tetras in that tank?
I mean you could just do a planted tank with some tetras or other hardy fish, and they will likely not get sick and die.
It does come down to weak inbred fish and survival of the fittest.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:11 PM   #5
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The inbreeding is so disheartening. If I hadn't already been through so much in the first few months, I have an andler surce and would have doine something like that.

I THINK.... That I'm considering a ten or twenty long, with plants, and shrimp. If I did the twenty I might have a separator and do blue on one side and red on the other. My normal water temp inside is right about where they need to be, and apparently neocaradinas are happy right at my pH.

I got my water tested today and 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, some nitrate, and my pH had gone up to somewhere between 7.8 and 8.4. I don't know what could have caused the pH spike, but the gal said it shouldn't be my water causing all the fish issues. (Fissues, spread the word)

I'm just glad oi didn't get far enough in to it to start losing cories and plecos. That's what I wanted.... Pygmy cories and cories and a pleco or two of appropriate size, and neon tetras.

And shrimp in a planted tank. So even if I only do that, its one of my happy dream tanks.

My friend said yes, its good I didn't get to plecos. It has survived millions of years to get here, and I'd kill it in a month.
Ha. Very funny.

Fish gal today said I may just have to let my tank run its course and let the fish go, then I can bleach it and start again. But ****, I have one or two amazing guppies. One female who can totally handle the two guys in the tank. I know its not the right ratio, but she is so bossy.... I feel worse for the guys
She sleeps with the two fry on the bottom, and the guys patrol the top at night. It's so funny.


Sigh. Ideally, I'd love to have a tank to watch, I think the maintenance and fear of effing up is really getting to me though.


Soooooooop.. What do I need for a planted tank?
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:49 PM   #6
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The 20 long with a good light, and well, some plants
Liquid co2 and fertilizer called "excel" should help them also
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